TODAY -

Fully funding the TB response is a smart investment

Shobha Shukla *



As per WHO’s Global TB Report 2018 financing for TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment continues to fall short of the amount needed and commitments from both domestic and international donor sources need to be stepped up. Recognising this lack of sufficient and sustainable financing, the political declaration issued by member states at the recent first-ever UN High Level Meeting (UNHLM) to #endTB commits to increase the overall global investments for ending TB to reach at least US$ 13 billion a year by 2022; and also commits to close the estimated US$ 1.3 billion annual gap in funding for TB research, ensuring that all countries contribute appropriately to TB research and development.

Willo Brock, Senior Vice President (External Affairs) at TB Alliance (Global Alliance for TB Drug Development), has extensive experience in resource mobilization in global health. He was in exclusive conversation with CNS (Citizen News Service) on the sidelines of the UNHLM to end TB in New York. Willo provides strategic leadership to the organisation’s fundraising, advocacy and policy, and community and stakeholder engagement work.

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

CNS: Why do governments not see investing in TB as a smart business case, despite evidence that for every $1spent on reducing TB incidence can generate benefit of $33?

Willo Brock: "It is true that TB creates huge financial burden on people and economies. Even in those countries where diagnostics and treatment costs are covered by the public healthcare system, families are known to spent about half their income on managing their TB treatment. According to one study, it is estimated that multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) alone would cost the global economy a cumulative $16.7 trillion by 2050 and claim the lives of up to 75 million people. So there is big impetus to act. But the costs and the benefits are not at the same scale. Costs are often borne by poor families and not necessarily by the governments. Also, the investments in drug development do not yield immediate gains as R&D is a long term process. But politicians tend to like short term results and not long term investments that give return over a long time period.

CNS: Why has the private sector not been that proactive in funding the fight against TB?

Willo Brock: Companies think in terms of markets and not in terms of scale. Millions of people affected with TB does not mean a huge potential market for them. TB predominantly hits poor people and poor communities and the private sector does not view this as a place where they can make money. That is where organisations like TB Alliance come into play to leverage partnerships, bring public and private sector together and mobilise resources and then have products that are affordable and universally accessible to all those patients who need them.

CNS: Even though the need for new and better diagnostics and treatment for TB is growing why is TB research an development so under- funded?

Willo Brock: Globally, for the high income countries it is about ‘out of sight, out of mind’. They have a much less problem of TB at a much smaller scale. So they do not feel the need to invest in the interest of their own people. If we look at the BRICS countries-the emerging economies like Brazil, India, South Africa, Russia, China- they have almost 60% of the world’s MDR-TB. Yet they are spending less than 5% of their research money on TB R&D. They have to be better explained the urgency of the problem - that TB is a global health crisis and that they will have to increase their investment. Unlike most other diseases, TB anywhere is TB everywhere. Unless eradicated globally, TB will be a problem as long as people breathe. The recent UN HLM on TB has forced the heads of states to turn their attention to TB and the disease is now likely to get the recognition and urgent action it deserves.

CNS: What innovative and sustained financing mechanisms can help to fully fund the fight against TB, including R&D?

Willo Brock: First and foremost, every country must commit a fair share of their investment for innovation. We cannot rely only on high income countries to fund. The resolution adopted at UNHLM should have that exact phrasing. A country like India, for instance, has invested only 36% of its fair share in terms of its TB burden. Secondly, we have to hold our leaders to account. TB has been there for over 5000 thousand years. Why have heads of states not been asked before to commit to step up investments? While Ministers of Health are convinced as they understand the problem, but they need the help of Ministers of Finance and the heads of states to agree to step up investment in TB for the sake of the people. So holding the heads of state to account is very important and an essential part of the solution to the puzzle called TB.

CNS: There is an increasing recognition that health security is critical for achieving SDGs. Is more attention to UHC and other health issues a threat or an opportunity for sustained financing for TB?

Willo Brock: I firmly believe that it is an opportunity. Expanding the sphere of assistance to people and connecting them to universal healthcare, will also increase their access to TB services. So increasing universal health coverage (UHC) is an important element of delivering TB treatment to everyone around the world. At the same time when countries invest in TB as a disease, they reduce the financial burden of their healthcare system. For instance, at the moment MDR-TB costs about 100 times more to treat than drug susceptible TB (DS-TB). So when we have new drugs to treat patients with MDR-TB, it is going to be much cheaper for everyone to get access to them. Also, the risk associated with TB (especially MDR-TB) as an infectious disease is one of the pillars of what is considered global health security threat. With new treatments coming up and being available for MDR-TB, we can bring that threat down. We can therefore say that these 3 issues - TB, global health security and universal health coverage - are inextricably linked and should be taken care of together and not as separate issues.

The first-ever UNHLM on TB was a landmark opportunity to marshal political will and make the UN member states step up the fight against TB. An important element of this summit’s resolution was that we can defeat antimicrobial resistance and TB if we close the funding gap for innovation. And hopefully this would be for everyone. So equitable approaches, for securing universal access to new drugs and diagnostics and vaccines, are essential. Patchwork national level solutions are slowing down the fight against TB. To address and solve the problem of TB, countries will have to work together, collaborate cross border globally and not look at TB as just a domestic issue."


* Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service) wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is is the Managing Editor of CNS (Citizen News Service). Follow her on Twitter @Shobha1Shukla or @CNS_Health or visit www.citizen-news.org
This article was posted on 19 October, 2018 .


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Of harassment at Imphal-Moreh Route
  • Need for a strong Opposition
  • Lamklai Kummoi Maring Fest #2: Gallery
  • National School Games- Fencing: Gallery
  • We want the ring...
  • The Queen's Heart :: Poem
  • Education of heart: Heart of Education
  • Mao - The Revolutionary
  • Discussion on India-Vietnam Relation
  • Sangai of the Sangai festival
  • Jarnail in his element
  • Tough road awaits Sarita in World Boxing
  • ACAUT says NNPGs unable to rein..
  • State has no say in ILP - Conrad
  • Ningol Chakouba @ MBC #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba Nga Mela #2 : Gallery
  • Rajkumar Jhaljit : Sahityaratna 2017
  • Gaudiya Vaishnavism in Meitei Nation #2
  • Ningol Chakouba :: Poem
  • World Diabetes Day 2018
  • Bartending as a career option
  • The unintended windfall
  • Issues before the Parliamentary polls
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #3: Gallery
  • Rock Show at X-Jam 2018 : Gallery
  • Bloody Phanek wins at Signs Festival
  • Gender Equality & Development :: Book
  • I am friend of India for life- Japanese PM
  • 2019 Commonwealth Scholarship in UK
  • 55th Nagas' Meet at New Delhi
  • Black money and the dream-merchants
  • What steps to address traffic chaos ?
  • Govt extends ban on seven Meitei groups
  • It won't be easy for Mary Kom - Nieva
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Mysore #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Dubai #1 : Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 54 :: Poem
  • Religious education- Part of our life
  • Free Heart Camp at Kakching Bazar
  • Jobs at Gyan Jyoti Foundation
  • Nothing seems change; everything remains
  • Predatory instinct of man: Targeting 'Manipur'
  • Lihaaz- Classical Music at IIT Guwahati
  • Mera Wayungba #1 : Gallery
  • L Modhuchandra : Young Scientist Award
  • Chavang Kut celebrated in Delhi
  • Temple runs for a pilgrim's journey
  • First day of All India Young Writers' Festival
  • Ningol Chakkouba in era of materials
  • Constitutional breakdown in governance
  • Attacked on Environment Defenders
  • Kut festival @ Chandel : Gallery
  • Mega Marathon Manipur #2 : Gallery
  • Karen people's pursuit for survival..
  • Glamorous Maniac & their new single
  • City bus for high end of society- Why not?
  • Youth Leadership Camp at Yairipok
  • Course in Political Science at NEHU
  • Of Indian Constitution
  • Ningol Chakouba @ MBC #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba Nga Mela #1 : Gallery
  • NH7 Weekender @Meghalaya #2 : Gallery
  • Gaudiya Vaishnavism in Meitei Nation #1
  • Old Man in the Winter :: Poem
  • Drawing inspiration from Dave Mustaine
  • Condemns attack on Agnes Kharshiing
  • NEUFC Fan Park celebrates
  • Achievement lists of PDA is 'Boring'
  • MPP : Down but not out
  • Ningol - mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • Kwatha Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba: Biggest fest of Manipuri
  • Mizoram Under the British Rule :: Book
  • Dr. Udit Raj: a Crusader
  • Undisclosed #MeToo campaign in Manipur?
  • Drought :: Poem
  • When Money matters, sincerity is out..
  • Detaining two more at Jiribam
  • Ningol Chakkouba : Flash Presentation
  • Ningol Chakkouba Shopping #1: Gallery
  • Chingjaroi, Atengba, Ahongbi :: eMing
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Those Sparks and Sounds
  • Manipur from Independence to Merger #2
  • Understanding RSS :: Book Review
  • Cry of a Dying River - 53 :: Poem
  • A take on Freedom of Media
  • Pay of private school teachers
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #2: Gallery
  • Art Festival @ Imphal : Gallery
  • 26 month left to meet AIDS 90-90-90 target
  • Tengnoumanbi- Essential food item ..
  • Dr Abdul Kalam vision of transforming India
  • A Wintry Landscape :: Poem
  • 'Say no to Lead Paints'
  • Completing bigger task
  • Biomedical wastes: Health, ecology at stake
  • NIA files chargesheet against 5 NSCN (K)
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Kolkata : Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #3: Gallery
  • Irony of idea of communal harmony
  • Blood Donation at RGU, Arunachal Pradesh
  • Career opportunities in Ecology #2
  • Down the Country Road :: Poem
  • Change of season: Prepare for winter
  • Govt forgotten promises to improve traffic
  • ATC demand: Setback to pluralistic Manipur
  • Mega Marathon Manipur #1 : Gallery
  • Descent & inheritance among Zeliangrong
  • Constituent Assembly Of India & NEFA #3
  • Seminar : Reforming Teaching-Learning
  • Attitude :: Poem
  • Tourism: A key sector in the world
  • NH7 Weekender Meghalaya : Day 2 Report
  • Early solution in Manipur difficult : Army
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • NH7 Weekender @Meghalaya #1 : Gallery
  • Pukning Pothasang: Suicide prevention
  • Where have all the flowers gone? Khurkhul
  • Engaging Failed State :: Book Review
  • eNorth East Award 2018
  • Song of a Tree :: Poem
  • NH7 Weekender 2018 Kicks Off
  • Unsolved case of Pravish Chanam
  • Imphal Jamboree : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Manipur from Independence to Merger #1
  • A beacon of hope
  • Mishing tribe of Assam
  • Ransomware that made the world cry
  • State Level Painting Competition
  • A suggestion for a strong democracy
  • Issues before Parliamentary polls
  • Kut Festival @ Kangpokpi : Gallery
  • HIV : Gap between research & impact
  • My Tryst With Manipur : A Memoir :: Review
  • Cultural heritage (Kut fete)
  • Bleeding inside Brain treated at SKY
  • Indo-Myanmar Regional Border Meet
  • In Her Arms Of Death :: Poem
  • Pravish Chanam : No Action by CBI
  • Assam Don Bosco : University of the Year
  • NH7 Weekender 2018 in Meghalaya
  • Media that criticize are not your enemy, CM
  • MU limping back to normalcy
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #1: Gallery
  • Happy Kut Wishes :: Flash Presentation
  • November Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Weavers training for Mamit , Mizoram
  • Diwali Lagao : Mapugidi Munda
  • Career opportunities in Ecology
  • Jobs at Trueblue, Taxi Service, Imphal
  • CM should not let this opportunity out..
  • Where will Oct 31, 2018 stand ?
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #2: Gallery
  • Kut Festival :: Series of Articles
  • Comedian Huirem Manglem passed away
  • Constituent Assembly Of India & NEFA #2
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Overview of Buddha's teachings on Karmma
  • Technological Globalisation and Manipur
  • Initiate disciplinary action against Police
  • 13th Indo-Myanmar Border Committee Meet
  • .....but traffic is still in mess
  • Obstinately silly or immense clout
  • 'Ethnic Conflicts in Manipur: Issues'
  • Mapithel Dam Irrigation Canals #2
  • Kangla is like Ayodhya for Meiteis..Sacred
  • Health Care & Status in North East :: Book
  • Speaker List: Imphal Jamboree- Youth Fest
  • Roars of #MeToo to douse the flame of lust
  • A Welcome Change :: Poem
  • Liangmai community performed at NE fest
  • Immature press statement from NDPP: NPF
  • Our expectation from the government
  • October 31 : Rally and bandh
  • Chalwa Village in Kangpokpi #3 : Gallery
  • NEROCA Vs East Bengal : Gallery
  • Lullaby by This Chord :: Critical Analysis
  • Imphal Jamboree - Youth festival
  • Getting ready for Act East Policy
  • Hey! You're a role model :: Poem
  • Training on Cultivation of Mushroom
  • Yitachu is propagating misguiding facts
  • Naga Talk: Wary yet committed & hopeful
  • Fashion Show: Lamklai Kummoi: Gallery
  • Pukning Pothasang : Bereavement
  • Khong: significance in Zeliangrong culture-2
  • RIST Talk -37 : The Physics of Lunar Dust
  • Cry of a Dying River #51 :: Poem
  • WhatsApp cheating : Unexplained loss
  • Cat :: Poem
  • TSA cautions EMRS School
  • Non-issue turns issue
  • Cong gunning for Governor
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #1: Gallery
  • Sanjenbam Bhanumati Devi : Kavyabhusan
  • Church and climate change
  • Environmental human rights: Its evolution
  • Developing a database on bio-resource #2
  • Incomplete Love :: Poem
  • Beauty benefits of potato
  • The toddler calls
  • UNC : Acceptable to the Zeliangrongs?
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #2: Gallery
  • Constituent Assembly Of India & NEFA #1
  • Can we end tobacco pandemic ?
  • Experiencing Senapati town
  • City Bazaar :: Poem
  • Eepan Thaba #1: Gallery
  • Mapithel Dam Irrigation Canals #1
  • Chumthang Crafts at European Congress
  • A Road Trip to Myanmar #3
  • Narmada Sougaijam - Natl Konkan Award
  • Bor khoiramba @Hiyangthang #2 : Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba : Unity - hill & valley
  • Khong: significance in Zeliangrong culture-1
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download
  • Lamyanba Irabot- Floral Tribute #2: Gallery
  • Mera Chaorel Houba #2 : Gallery
  • Anglo-Kuki War 1917-19 : Gallery
  • Pari Imom (Film Scenes) #1 :: eRang
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #3 : Gallery
  • Jarnail Singh @ MU : Gallery
  • Heikru Hidongba #3 : Gallery
  • AMAND Pune: Cultural evening : Gallery
  • Sizo Festival @Saikot : Gallery
  • Tarpon Sonba : Gallery
  • mtM :: Seireng
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #4: Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS